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A Brief History of the Chakras in Human Body

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Abstract

The paper reviewed the origin of the chakra system on a more scientific basis. We have studied the history of the seven chakra system and Amit Ray's 114 chakra system. A couple of decades ago, it was believed that the seven chakras are worth only for spiritual development. However, recent scientific studies have proven the opposite, uncovering several regulatory chakras in the human body are deeply related to human psychology. Scientists observed several regulatory micro-networks in the human body, deeply connected with immunity, health, mental peace, emotions and happiness. Biological models of behavior have become increasingly prominent in psychological theory, particularly with the development of various neuro-imaging tools. The field of neuropsychology, which studies the brain and the connected nervous system, is growingly feeling the role chakras in human psychology. In this paper, we tried to trace the history of the chakra system on a more scientific basis.
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A Brief History of the Chakras in Human Body
Adalbert Schneider
Herdecke University, 58313 Herdecke, Germany
Abstract:
The paper reviewed the origin of the chakra system on a more scientific basis.
We have studied the history of the seven chakra system and Amit Ray's 114
chakra system.
A couple of decades ago, it was believed that the seven chakras are worth only
for spiritual development. However, recent scientific studies have proven the
opposite, uncovering several regulatory chakras in the human body are deeply
related to human psychology. Scientists observed several regulatory micro-
networks in the human body, deeply connected with immunity, health, mental
peace, emotions and happiness. Biological models of behavior have become
increasingly prominent in psychological theory, particularly with the
development of various neuro-imaging tools. The field of neuropsychology,
which studies the brain and the connected nervous system, is growingly feeling
the role chakras in human psychology. In this paper, we tried to trace the history
of the chakra system on a more scientific basis.
Keywords: origin of the chakras, chakras, 114 chakras, seven chakras, chakra
psychology, history of chakras, chakra healing, neuropsychology, Ray chakra
system.
Introduction
Some western scholars believe that the chakra system began in India around 1500
and 500 BC, when the earliest yoga texts, the Vedas, were written. However, most
of the Indian scholars believe that the chakra system was much older than that,
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and the original sages passed down the knowledge of the chakra system through
an oral tradition, much before the Aryan (Indo-European) people entered into
India. Hence, to trace the origin of the chakra system, we have to discover the
source of the oral tradition of the chakra system beyond the available ancient
texts.
In the oral tradition, the transmission of knowledge was from teacher to the
student, through presence, speech, stories, prose, and verses. Even today, in
eastern India, in the oral tradition of chakra system the information, techniques
and knowledge held in common by a group of people, over many generations. In
the western world, we are familiar with the seven primary chakra system.
However, in the oral tradition of the chakra system, particularly, in the tradition
of Sri Amit Ray, the chakras are not limited by seven or twelve; it goes beyond
114 chakras [19, 21].
The original meaning of the word chakra as "wheel" refers to the chariot wheels
of the rulers, called cakravartins. The term is defined as a spinning disk or wheel;
a chakra on the human body is a spinning disk or wheel of energy that runs along
the spine. The health of one's chakras is directly connected to the health of the
physical, mental, and the emotional well being of a person.
Chakra Science and Philosophy
Vedas are considered as the philosophy of the Indian system, and chakras are
considered as the science of inner body [19]. According to the chakra philosophy,
the whole universe is perceived as being created, penetrated and sustained by two
fundamental forces, which are permanently in a perfect, indestructible union. This
principle of polarity is the foundation stone of the chakra system. Biologically it
represents the masculine and the feminine poles. In chakra philosophy, these
forces or universal aspects are called Shiva and Shakti [24]. Shakti is the
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personification of the universe, and her activity is to love, while Shiva shares the
state of supreme consciousness.
Origin of Chakra System in the Ancient Texts
The Sanskrit word, "chakra" was used in the oldest text called the Vedas around
1500 and 500 BC, originated in India. However, the chakras as psychic centers
of consciousness are first mentioned in the Yoga Upanishads (600 B.C.) and later
in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (200 B.C.). The Yoga Upanishads are the
collections of minor Upanishads. It includes Shandilya Upanishad, Teja Bindu
Upanishad, Jabala Upanishad, Cudamoni Upanishad, and the Yoga-Shikka
Upanishad.
Origin of Seven Chakra System in the Western World
The main text about chakras that have come to the West is a translation by the
Englishman, Arthur Avalon ((Sir John George Woodroffe), in his book, "The
Serpent Power" published in 1919 [1]. These texts: the Sat-Cakra-Nirupana,
written by Swami Purnananda in 1577, and the Padaka-Pancaka, written in the
10th century, contain descriptions of the centers and related practices. There is
also another 10th-century text, called the Gorakshashatakam, which gives
instructions for meditating on the chakras. These texts form the basis of our
understanding of chakra theory and Kundalini yoga today. These texts have been
the primary source of information on the chakras for most western students of the
seven central chakra system.
Origin of 114 Chakra System
There are seven main chakras along the spine. However, according to Sri Amit
Ray, there are as many as 114 all over the body. In 2018, Sri Amit Ray
rediscovered the 114 chakras in the human body based on his profound
meditation experiences and the oral tradition [19, 20, 21]. He identified the
names, locations and functions of all the 114 chakras for the first time [21]. Ray
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classified the 114 chakras both structurally and functionally. Scientifically, Ray
linked the 114 chakras with the glands, hormones, brain areas and neurons,
neurotransmitters, brain-gut axis and the HPA axis. Ray designed 21
chakra pathways for deep meditation [21]. They are designed to aid accuracy in
meditation and the transmission of the healing energy and for the transformation
of the soul.
Neuropsychology of the Chakras
Chakras are often linked to nerve centers, glands and major organs in the body,
and each of the seven chakras is said to correlate with different abilities,
expressions and types of health and psychological states of the mind.
Chakras balance two opposing forces. The balance between chakra excitation and
chakra inhibition is crucial to healthy cognition and behavior. Glutamate and
GABA are the two opposing neurotransmitters. When a brain dominated by
glutamate would only be capable of exciting itself in repeated bursts of activity,
conversely, a brain governed by GABA would only be capable of quiet and soft
activities, with little synchronization necessary for meaningful communication
between brain areas. Healthy brain activity thrives in the middle area between
these two extremes, where a balance between excitation and inhibition generates
complex patterns of activity.
Chakra Macrocosm and Microcosm
In the framework of modern science: relativity or the physics of the extremely
large is referred to as macrocosms. And the quantum mechanics or the physics of
the extremely small is referred to as microcosms. According to the chakra system,
in these two worlds and beyond, Shiva and Shakti are fully and eternally
complete. Shiva and Shakti are not separate; they are linked to each other as fire
and heat [2].
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According to Saint Amit Ray [20, 21], the principles of polarity works not only
at the physical level or at an individual level but also applies at a universal level.
Ray expressed that, Chakra system establishes a relationship between macrocosm
and microcosm inner world and outer world. He said that the ever-changing
relationship between the two celestial poles is responsible for the constant flux of
the universe and the life energy, in general both in the inner world and in the
outer world. When there is, too significant an imbalance, between Shiva and
Shakti, in the external world, catastrophes can occur such as floods, droughts and
plagues. Similarly, in the micro world, if the chakras are imbalanced, you will
feel a disturbance in the physical, mental and emotional world.
Conclusion
Chakra system will remain, a dominant force, not only in Indian spirituality but
worldwide in positive psychology. Chakra system is a path for inner revolution,
and it is to drop all the religious beliefs, constraints, prejudices and create the
space within that to conceive the infinite and timeless truth. Revolution of the
chakra system started long back, with the oral tradition, while maintaining
exceptional accuracy of their knowledge across the generations. Scientific studies
for both the seven-chakra system and the Amit Ray's 114-chakra system is crucial
for modern positive psychology, neuropsychology and healing.
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Sir John Woodroffe). [1919] 1974. The Serpent Power: The Secrets of Tantric and Shaktic Yoga
  • Arthur Avalon
Avalon, Arthur (Sir John Woodroffe). [1919] 1974. The Serpent Power: The Secrets of Tantric and Shaktic Yoga. New York: Dover.
How to Meditate Using Chakras, Mantras, and Breath
  • Dennis K Chernin
Chernin, Dennis K., 2002. How to Meditate Using Chakras, Mantras, and Breath. Ann Arbor, Mich.: Think Publishing
Wheels of life: A user's guide to the chakra system
  • A Judith
Judith, A. (2009) Wheels of life: A user's guide to the chakra system. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn.